College faces possible $7.7 million deficit due to COVID-19 pandemic

College faces possible $7.7 million deficit due to COVID-19 pandemic

Serena Guentz, Features Editor

City College’s College Planning Council overviewed budget projections and scenarios during Tuesday’s meeting, discussing possible future deficits of up to $7.7 million.

Budget projections for the 2019-2020 budget showed an anticipated decrease in both out-of-state and international tuition revenues, bringing the revenue projections to $330,000 and $1.5 million less than originally budgeted, respectively.

“What I would really like for CPC members to take away from this is to get a sense of, if this particular variable goes a certain direction, what is going to be the impact?” Goswami said.

The projections presented during Tuesday’s meeting show an estimated deficit for 2019-2020 of $3.8 million.

The council also reviewed three different budget scenarios for the 2020-2021 budget.

The three budget scenarios, labeled A, B and C, showed different possibilities for the effects of changes in the state cost-of-living adjustment, enrollment and more. 

Scenario A, which was seen as the “best-case scenario,” showed a deficit of $3.5 million, scenario B showed a deficit of $5.6 million, and scenario C, the “worst-case scenario,” showed a deficit of $7.7 million.

Each scenario assumed different changes in the state COLA, resident credit full-time equivalent students, dual-enrollment FTES, non-credit FTES, out-of-state tuition and international tuition.

“[This] gives us an idea to plan from,” Goswami said.

Despite multiple faculty searches currently happening, Superintendent-President Utpal Goswami said he is also putting a hold on making any new hiring decisions until late May due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t know how early restrictions will be lifted,” Goswami said.

Goswami said essential employees are still coming to the college and others can come on a voluntary basis. He said he expects employees to be returning to work on campus by mid-May if social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

As the coronavirus pandemic has led to shelter-at-home orders across the country, many people are currently taking online classes or looking to online classes for the upcoming semesters.

“Now might be a good time to start advertising a little bit more,” said Academic Senate representative Ruth Morales, referring to the college’s online classes.

Executive Director of Public Affairs Luz Reyes-Martin said her team is currently working on changing its summer enrollment campaign to focus on the success of City College’s online classes and services.

“We have to kind of brush up our virtual presence,” Goswami said.

Goswami also said he is starting to look into the possibility that the fall term will need to be online only.

The College Planning Council will reconvene at its next meeting on April 21 via Zoom video conferencing.